How to Remove a Tree Root With a Come-Along Tool

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A come-along can help remove medium-sized tree trunks.
A come-along can help remove medium-sized tree trunks. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

While the stumps of small trees are relatively easy to remove my hand, and expensive grinding is required to remove the stumps of larger trees, medium-size trees may be too large to remove by hand and too small to grind. A come-along can help in this situation. This tool consists of a ratchet set inside a housing that holds a hook and cable, which attaches to the stump. The other end of the come-long attaches to a stationary object. When operated, the come-along winds the cable onto the ratchet, pulling the stump to allow it to be cut from the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Chainsaw
  • Nursery spade
  • Spud bar
  • 1 ton come-long

Remove the branches and trunk of the tree, leaving a stump about 3 to 4 feet tall to provide a leverage point when using the come-along.

Excavate around the tree trunk using the square bladed nursery spade. Expose as much of the roots as possible around the tree. Cut any small roots using the edge of the spade, leaving larger roots for the spud bar.

Identify a large root to cut. Plunge the sharp edge of the long metal tool, called a spud bar, into the root, in a downward spearing manner. Continue this process until the root is completely cut. Repeat this process with all of the large roots that are visible around the tree trunk.

Attach the come-along to a trailer hitch on a large truck or some other stationary object, such as a heavy-duty fence post or another tree trunk.

Unwind the hook and cable from the come-long. Wrap the cable around the upper portion of the tree trunk and attach the hook to the cable, forming a loop around the tree trunk.

Work in the handle of the come-along to put tension on the cable to lever the trunk to one side, exposing roots under the stump. Cut these roots with the spud bar. Continue to alternate between adding tension on the come-along and cutting roots until the root system is completely free from the soil beneath.

Continue to work the handle of the come-along to pull the stump from the hole. When the stump is free, release the tension on the come-along and remove it from the stump and the stationary object to which it is attached.

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